Pink Ribbon Blog

     In this first blog posting of the Pink Ribbon Survivors Network, I have collected my thoughts as to five themes that can explain why we have started this website and our motivation for its success.

        1.)  Online learning certainly represents the future of dissemination of information in our society.  Thus we set out to create three online libraries dedicated to issues of breast cancer survivorship from three separate perspectives:  the survivor, the primary healthcare provider, and the cancer care professional.

        2.)  Our project makes the assumption that interested, educated persons with issues, a mission in mind, or just curiosity, will pursue self-directed education.  In an open society, persons don't want to be given simple answers, but want to learn for themselves.  Our project believes that persons will pursue self-directed education, therefore our task is the organized assembly of three online libraries devoted to these three groups interested in learning more about breast cancer survivorship.

        3.) We have observed that the different cancer care professionals ( doctors, nurses, nurse navigators, and social workers) each maintain separate clinical literature.  This isolates each professional group's observations into separate "information silos," which are not shared for a common goal of serving breast cancer survivors.  Therefore, we have created an inter-disciplinary clinical library of breast cancer survivorship issues by drawing from the literature of these different cancer care professions.  We believe that a "synergy of ideas" will be possible when observations from the perspective of different cancer care disciplines are housed on a single online library resource.  

        4.)  It is clear that an organized breast cancer survivorship library for primary health care providers needs to be available.  We note the increasing complexity of medical and psychosocial issues regarding breast cancer survivorship.  Additionally, we recognize that oncology professionals will be transitioning more care of breast cancer survivors to their primary care colleagues.  Therefore, our goal is to create a concise and comprehensive online survivorship library for the primary health care provider.  Standards of follow up care, and nationally recognized Guidelines will be an important feature of this library.

       5.)  We wish to provide a service to society as professionals and community activitists in a non-profit organization.  We pledge to avoid bias in our information, to prevent commercial interests from influencing our content, and to protect our users  from solicitation.  At a time when women play a central role in individual families and in society in general, we recognize the importance of improving the lives of breast cancer survivors through online education.

       Thank you for being part of this project through your use of this online resource.

Rob Fisher, MD  Co-Founder and  Organizational President, The Pink Ribbon Survivors Network (Rob@PinkRibbonSurvivorsNetwork.org), February, 2013.

          


Online Communication during Breast Cancer Treatment Provides Therapeutic Benefit

       Though it may seem obvious, a recent publication in the Journal of Clinical Oncology illustrates the benefit to women with breast cancer from use of an online communication system for support during their breast cancer journey.

Social Support and Breast Cancer Survivorship

      Emotional support and feeling understood from Co-survivors can help breast cancer survivors develop a positive outlook on life and help them to feel cared for and loved.  Co-survivors can be family members, friends, pastors or spiritual advisors, co-workers, other cancer survivors, and even health care providers.  Having a positive outlook correlates with better quality of life.

Accupuncture, Yoga, Ginseng: New Clinical Findings worthy of discussion

Three new clinical studies published in established Oncology journals are highlighted here.  All three studies cited have been added to the Pink Ribbon Survivors Network online libraries.

When you have a moment...

There have been many moments in this past year where I have received a random phone call, text message or email saying “When you have a moment can we chat?” It seems that when those around you learn you have worked in oncology for many years, the request for information never ends. That is why I love oncology and education so very much. However, with that come challenges. Being a resource for co-workers diagnosed with breast cancer has become all too common for me recently. Thinking about survivorship and how Pink Ribbon Survivor’s Network has helped provide tools and information for those I care about has been essential to me in being a resource for others.

Making Exercise a Priority

     I have never been someone who exercises regularly.  I have tried many exercise classes, but always enjoyed walking the most.  When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was not in the best condition.  During my treatments, I continued to walk with friends to exercise and get fresh air.  It was also what I needed to clear my head.

Cancer Care and Psychosocial Care in the United States

Can every cancer survivor access professional psychosocial counseling throughout the United States?  What are the benefits to those who obtain this counseling?

Two recent publications in a June issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology describe many of the benefits and issues providing psychosocial care to cancer survivors in the United States.

Yoga

Exercise may be the furthest thing on the minds of women with breast cancer but many studies have shown that exercise can improve quality of life, cardio fitness, physical functioning and fatigue in breast cancer patients and survivors.

Casting for Recovery

   I am a breast cancer patient who has fought this battle since 1985 and suffer from "chemo brain," and lack of mobility because of my treatment.  I have never participated in any breast cancer activities until this year and feel that I need to share this wonderful experience.

   I was recently given the opportunity to participate in Casting for Recovery, which is a free program designed for 14 breast cancer survivors in all stages of treatment.  The two day event was hosted by the North Fork Ranch in Shawnee, Colorado, just south of Bailey.